(Originally published in the Winter 2010 MAGIC Newsletter)
By Allison Honzik
The Mishicot High School "Voices of the Past" local history class has been researching family stories. Thank you to Allison Honzik for sharing hers with us.
My family has a history in Mishicot of owning businesses. I've been researching my family history about the Badger Bowl and Dvorak's Shell Service. My great-grandpa, Harvey J. Dvorak, bought the Bowling Alley. He and his family owned/operated it for 38 years. My grandpa, Harvey Dvorak, his parents, and his two brothers, Norman and Jim, all helped with the bowling alley and lived upstairs. My grandpa was 12 when his father, my great-grandpa, bought the bowling alley. He set pins by hand for the alley when he was 15 and was paid $3/night. Later, automatic pin setters where installed. My grandpa went to AMF School in Chicago for a week to learn how to service the automatic pin setters. The Badger Bowl was a busy place; it had leagues every night except for Sundays. Mr. Ullman and Mr. Wolfe worked at the Badger Bowl as bartenders. My grandpa went into the service for a while and later ran the Badger Grill (now the Cozy Corner) for 8 years. My grandma worked at the Badger Grill as a waitress and this is where they met. They sold the Badger Bowl and Grill to Mr. Rosinsky. When Mr. Rosinsky's wife died, my great-grandpa bought the businesses back for a short time and then sold it to Mr. Depas.
The Dvorak Shell service was also a business owned by my family; located on S. Main St. next to the house that my grandpa and grandma, Harvey and Mardell Dvorak, still live. This building was built by Harvey Dvorak, Sr. and Evelyn Dvorak, my great-grandparents. Both Abie Thies and Clarence Haese ran the gas station while Harvey and Evelyn ran the Badger Bowl. In the 1970's it was taken over by Harvey and Evelyn and their son, Jim Dvorak, my great uncle, ran the office. A fuel truck delivered gas, fuel oil, and kerosene to homes and farms. The truck and delivery was run by Alan Holmes. The station sold Shell gas and also had an outdoor hoist. In the early 80's a large two stall pole shed was built so that the hoist would be housed and so they could add a spider hoist. Oil changes, engine tune-ups, muffler, brake, & many other jobs, were offered. It was also a full service gas station, which means an attendant would pump the gas for you, wash your cars windows, and even check your oil and tire pressure. Harvey Sr. had a woodwork shop in the back of the gas station where he built bird houses & other projects. n the 80's Jim ran a gun business out of the back office where people could buy & register guns with him. Mechanics at the gas station were Harvey Sr., Harvey Jr. and Ken Dvorak, my uncle. Some of the attendants were John Kelner, Ken Dvorak, Sandy Dvorak, my mom, Ken Heyroth, David Remeker, Kurt Carleau, and many others. The gas station was closed in 1998 when Jim Dvorak was no longer able to care for it. The brick structure was torn down in 2001-2002 and the gas tanks were removed from the ground in 2004.
I found all of this interesting information just by looking a little deeper than the things I already knew. It's important to remember this history because it makes me and my family the way we are today. My relatives contributed to the history of Mishicot, and that is something I am very proud of.
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